Fiona Hawke has no problem remembering her first impressions of husband George, who she met on a mine site near Cue, more than 30 years ago.
“Oh he was beautiful!” she says.
“He was very handsome, he had a beard and dark curly hair, and he was wearing a fitted white T-shirt…”
Fiona was working in administration at the mine site, while George was a chef; and two weeks after meeting, ‘sparks flew’ between the couple around the campfire. After that, they were a couple.
But it was more than just George’s good looks which kept the couple together.
“He’s got a good sense of humour, and he’s kind and genuine and understanding. We just got along, and he’s kept me sane over the years,” Fiona says. For his part, George says he liked Fiona’s red hair and “lovely eyes.”
“We decided that if we got pregnant, we’d get married, and of course I got pregnant straight away,” Fiona laughs.
After the birth of Zachary in 1990 – George also has a daughter, Sasha, – Fiona and George’s work in the mining industry meant they continued to “migrate around the Goldfields,” living in Sandstone and Coolgardie, before moving to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in 2003. The pair continue to work together, now owning and running Zach-Harry’s fish and chip cafe on Boulder Road.
“I suppose it’s been challenging at times, in the mining industry, there are long days and shifts,” Fiona says.
“We came (to the Goldfields) for the work, so we used to work together and live together. Having separate hobbies has helped; George likes woodwork, black & white movies and fixing things. “I like crochet and writing (Fiona is part of the Fossick Yarn Guild).
“Work kept us here, and now we’re here by choice.”